Foreign exchange students feel part of the team

6:42 PM, Sep 6, 2013   |    comments
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They're focused on learning the school song before the first football game gets here.

No time to think about home which is 5,000 miles away.

"I like the cheers," says Lais Ferfoglia. "The only thing I don't like is the jumps."

Cheer jumps are... less graceful than ballet in Brazil. 

"I jump but it's not so radical."

Already in the front row... Laura.
She cheers in Germany but says the actual cheering part of the sport is more intense here.

"It's fun... And although it is not always easy, it is a great experience."

An experience that is helping her adjust to the U.S.
Skowhegan's Athletic Director says year after year, foreign exchange students join sports.

"It really makes them a part of the school and they get to know kids faster and integrate themselves much quicker than kids that don't," says Don Finley.

Another benefit? Beginning before school is in session.

"The cheer practice started before the classes started so I arrived on my first day knowing some people. 'Does that help?' Yeah. And the girls are so nice," says Ferfoglia.

Fellow teammate, Erika Cooley says "every time you see a cheerleader in the hallway it's hey, how are you doing?"
And the comradery starts here. The Skowhegan cheerleading program doesn't begin until High School. And with new coaches this year... the team chant is fresh for everyone:

"I am good. I am good! I am worth it. I am worth it! I can do this. I can do this!"

"I feel already like a part of the team."

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